Toronto (Canada), June 11 (EFE). – Canadian Foreign Minister Marc Garneau on Friday condemned the “arbitrary detention” of political leaders of the opposition and civil society in Nicaragua while the government of Daniel Ortega called for his release and “important electoral reforms.”
“The Nicaraguan government has not implemented important and urgently needed electoral reforms and is now further eroding the democratic process with these arbitrary arrests,” Garneau said in a statement.
The Canadian foreign minister added that “the government of Nicaragua needs to guarantee the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all its residents in accordance with international law and its constitution.”
“International human rights organizations should be allowed to return immediately to the country to monitor the situation and ensure that the government fulfills these critical responsibilities,” Garneau added.
The Nicaraguan police, led by Francisco Diaz, President Ortega’s son-in-law, holds four presidential candidates from the opposition: Christiana Chamorro, Arturo Cruz, Felix Maradiaga and Juan Sebastian Chamorro Garcia.
Former President of the Supreme Council for Special Projects (COSEP) Jose Adan Aguirre, former Vice-Chancellor Jose Balle, opposition activist Violetta Granera and two former collaborators of an NGO were also arrested last week on charges of various crimes.
The arrests come a few months before the presidential elections scheduled for November, in which Ortega hopes to be re-elected.
Canada called for the immediate release of detained political candidates as well as “all political prisoners and an end to arrests and harassment of independent media and civil society actors.” EFE
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